48th Oman National Day: Why This Land Is Your Land

18 Nov 2018
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

As we prepare to celebrate the 48th Oman National Day, Team Y talks to some people proud to call Oman home, and finds out why our country continues to capture our hearts and minds while punching above its weight on the world stage.

There’s a bond that holds Oman together in harmony, a bond that strives to form great ties between its neighbouring countries, a bond that makes the Sultanate of Oman the greatest country for people from all other countries to reside in: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said – the beloved ruler of this nation.

It’s the promise to uphold peace, unity, and prosperity among every civilian that endures in Oman, and it marks its 48th year of existence on November 18. And the promise that was made on that very day in 1970 stands true even today.

And, as time ticks by, it only becomes clearer why His Majesty is indeed the driving force of this glorious nation, according to a man who has also seen plenty. 

Oman’s best days are what we’re currently witnessing under the “careful rule of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said”, says 91-year-old Mohammed al Numani, a former civil servant since His Majesty’s ascension to the throne until his retirement in 1992.

Mohammed picks up a framed scroll that imprints His Majesty’s speech from the 4th National Day in 1974. It reads: “On this immortal landmark day, four years ago, a new sun shone in our beloved land to light the flame of the national spirit and zeal of our citizens, who plunged into building this renaissance and to regain the glories of the ancient past by asserting that it is not the time factor that counts, but the achievements themselves on the path of civilised progress, the all-out development of the country, the extent of the role it can play in international affairs, and the effect of such events on the course of its progress”.

The bedridden Mohammed then musters just enough strength to say: “Bism’illah ir Rahman ir Rahim – I would like to wish His Majesty a long and peaceful life. May he continue taking care of us – his sons and daughters – in great health and keeping up the greatest accordance with our brethren.”

His affection and determination for His Majesty is a testament to the love of everyone else residing in the country – both Omanis and expats alike. And as we enter the delightful National Day week, there’s no shortage of greetings pouring in from all around the country.

We speak to a few people to share their message and shed light on their lives in Oman.

Tariq Hilal al Barwani

The founder and chairman of the board of directors of Knowledge Oman – the leading platform in the Sultanate’s move towards a Digital and Knowledge-based society.

On behalf of the Knowledge Oman (KO) family, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our visionary leader – His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said – on the occasion of the 48th National Day of Oman.

It’s a day of the year that brings eternal meaning to our beautiful and peaceful country under the wise leadership of His Majesty.

Oman is progressing and the future is bright – Insha’Allah!

The progression is evident in our field, too. The word ‘Digital’ is no longer a gibberish one in the Sultanate as it used to be decades ago.

Today, even a toddler would know how to swift pages on a tablet at home. What’s the reason for that? Clearly the progress that Oman has made over the years to ensure that technology is a part of everything in life – be it in business, government services or even education – thanks to the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.

What this means is that today, the United Nations e-Government Survey ranks Oman 63rd out of the 193-member state countries (worldwide), 6th among the Arab countries, 2nd in the online services index, and 1st in the Global Cyber Security Index of the top 10-member states.

Oman has clearly improved its ranking and position in the digital arena over the past few years and is indeed all geared to welcome the best out of the future – for the citizens, business and the government.

Projects that include but are not limited to infrastructure, training, policies and procedures, and industry-led development initiatives are constantly being developed and released to support the various initiatives in the country.

These include SAS centres for entrepreneurship (for the Information and Communications Technology industry), mobile applications development and virtual reality (education and opportunities) to government data centers, and cloud services to host and support the hungry data generated from information across various services offered in the country.

The government has and is laying out the necessary infrastructure for the nation. Businesses are constantly introducing projects via collaborating with the international technology service providers for the benefit of the society; and the citizens are selecting, consuming and benefiting from the offers digitally. The proof is in the pudding: Oman has progressed and the future will be brighter, Insha’Allah.

Haris Aslam 

A leader in the Sultanate’s digital transformation process.

Being born and raised in Oman, I have seen it all happen here. I’ve been living here for more than 30 years and the progress are been outstanding.

Oman has obviously become a vital player in the globe and I hope this continues at the same pace for the years to come.

Personally, I have enjoyed every bit of my life in Oman – and in the field of technology, the advancements and the vision aligned with the innovations have helped grow the country grow further.

Exactly four years ago, I became a part of the digital revolution here in Oman. The way e-commerce industry has shaped itself here is brilliant – even though it was a tough ride for the first couple of years.

Over the next five years in my domain of digital transformation I am foreseeing more efforts by both the government and private sector.

There is a lot happening in logistics, FinTech (financial technology), blockchain, and various other digital transformation initiatives.

I can also see a strong collaborations between digital firms based in Europe and North America with local Omani companies.

And yes, it’s very important to mention here that there are several talented Omanis in this sector, and the young Omani millennials between the ages of 24 and 25 have so much to contribute to companies, especially those in the digital space.

Needless to say, they are excelling rapidly.

Ali al Barwani

The former CEO of the Oman Road Safety Association and the Strategic Development Planner of Oman LNG.

The growth this nation has seen under the governance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said cannot be expressed with simple words – the progress has been exponential and the successes abundant.

All of this has led to this nation being reborn. Oman may have a long history that it is proud of but I’ll tell you this: we’re equally proud of our present and where we’re headed towards in the future.

The promises that were made were – and still are being – fulfilled. The results speak for themselves. Today, Oman is developing at a fast pace when compared with several other countries in the Middle East.

No shortcuts have been taken and all the planning has been done sustainably. Take for instance, the roads. All roads that run across the country are specified to the highest standards to safeguard all commuters. This is the level of dedication that sets this nation apart from others.

While the 48th National Day stands as an achievement for Oman – it’s not just one for the Omanis but also for the expats with whom we reside together in peace to make this our home.

And it is this level of love and understanding within our country that we radiate to the rest of the globe. So, we’re known to be amicable people with a very diplomatic framework and mindset towards foreign policies.

The respect we receive outside as citizens of this country will make you realise how blessed you are to be a part of Oman.

Devika Sreekumar and Hari Krishnan

Expat entrepreneurs

Since the day we arrived here in the Sultanate in 1993, all we’ve experienced is the nation’s love and compassion for everyone. Oman’s greatest achievement lies in the fact that people of all ages, cultures, and religion live together without any squabbles.

We know that this level of tolerance is rare – but it inevitably comes from His Majesty and the culture of the Omani people. This is probably what makes this the greatest country in the Middle East.

We’ve seen Oman go through its transitional phases – from the time Wadi Kabir was merely a village to the modern city that it is now. And even then, all its jewels – the Sheraton Hotel and the iconic Star Cinema building – still remain, showing how important heritage is to the people of the country.

That said, the greatest blessings we have received have been in the form of education, healthcare, and the safety of women – all factors that have been developed since His Majesty’s ascension to the throne.

Not only has this helped Oman develop into a powerhouse in the Middle East, it has allowed it to compete directly with its neighbours, from which it has already taken a great share of tourism and entertainment.

Gautam Ghosh Dastidar 

A former journalist and French teacher in a school in Oman.

The Sultanate is on the right track towards achieving its long-term goals. One must understand what the land and her progeny mean by ‘goals’. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said defines that at the ‘Conference on Oman’s Economy-Vision 2020’ in June 1995: “Development must not stop at the achievement of material wealth and a diversified economy. It must go beyond that to contribute to the formation of the citizen who is capable of taking part in the process of progress and comprehensive development”.

I will be on cloud nine to share and cheer the 48th National Day celebration. As I was once airborne to Muscat amid the National Day holidays and this time is going to be the 18th National Day in Oman for me!

Like everyone else, I have benefited greatly from the development the Sultanate has achieved, and not only materialistically. One must hold in high regard the role Oman has been and is always playing as a mediator between warmongering sides and acting as a messenger of peace amid this warring world of ours.

The Royal Directives of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said stipulate that the future vision ‘Oman 2040’ will be thoroughly developed and precisely formulated in light of wide community consensus and the participation of all social segments of the society in order to fully realise economic and social realities, objectively foreseeing the future, and effectively guiding planning in the upcoming two decades.

If our civilisation will at all be able to see the light of the 22nd century, the highest credit will go to Oman and its visionary leader His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said!

Dr Rao Suddapalli

A medical advisor and an intellectual property rights attorney.

feel blessed and privileged to be in the Sultanate of Oman when the nation is under the dynamic and able leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, and the ruler is gearing up to celebrate 48 years of ascension to the throne.

It has been an amazing experience for my wife and I to witness very closely from 1998 how the country that started a glorious era of better life for citizens way back in 1970 has transformed itself in various fields. The results have been astounding.

The ‘Basic Statutes of the State’ of November 1996 that guaranteed rights to citizens, and modernisation programmes that formed the basic edifice for the tremendous and incredible growth gave further impetus for a modern Oman; competing with other developing nations at a global level.

It all started with stabilising the country in the early years in terms of national security by restructuring armed forces followed by the police. This gradually extended to a thrust of developing citizenship, which saw vast development in the fields of education, health, basic infrastructure, training, social development and culture.

Since 1996, there was no looking back, as women’s empowerment garnered major attention – followed by people’s participation that includes voting rights for women, with elected parliamentary institutions and state executives working in cohesion to see that the Vision-2020 of His Majesty is realised fully.

Lastly, Oman’s adherence to international treaties and laws, especially those surrounding human trafficking, makes it stand in high esteem. Given a chance, we will not think twice to make this our abode for the rest of our lives, for it is the paradise with a prosperous present and a promising future.

Long live His Majesty!

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